Belfast Telegraph

MLA Jonathan Craig challenges charities: tell us what your bosses earn

By Adrian Rutherford

Charities are facing calls to reveal the salaries of their top earners amid growing anger over their six-figure pay packets.

It comes after the Belfast Telegraph revealed the vast salaries being drawn by dozens of charity chiefs in Northern Ireland.

In one case it was revealed that Nevin Ringland, the chief executive of mental health charity Praxis Care, receives £142,000 a year.

This newspaper surveyed 60 of our best known charities asking for the name and salary of their chief executive or most senior representative in Northern Ireland.

Of these, 34 confirmed their CEO earned more than £50,000. Three earned over £100,000.

Another 13 – around a quarter – declined to comment.

DUP MLA Jonathan Craig said all charities should be open about what they pay. "I think all charities should be open and transparent around what is being paid to their senior manager, whether that be chief executive or managing director," he said.

"They need to be open and honest with the public as to where charity money is going – how much of it goes on overheads or how much of it is spent on the charitable reason for these organisations existing.

"It is regrettable when some charities become more focused on their own internal structures rather than actually delivering what the charity was originally set up for."

Former Alliance MLA Seamus Close, now a political commentator, suggested embarrassment may prevent some charities disclosing their bosses' pay.

"They must be embarrassed... they recognise that they're a charity institution taking the pennies from the poor people to help charitable causes and needy causes," he told the BBC's Nolan Show. Mr Close said such stories "did nothing" for charities, who were battling to maintain income streams in times of austerity.

Other high-earning bosses include Tim Cooke, the director and chief executive of National Museums Northern Ireland, who earns between £105,000 and £110,000 and Peter Power, the all-Ireland executive director of Unicef, who receives £114,000.

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